Wizards Have New Man in the Booth

By Leonard Shapiro
Special to Washingtonpost.com
Tuesday, October 30, 2007; 12:06 PM

When the Washington Wizards open the 2007-08 season tomorrow night in Indiana, they'll have a new man in the WTEM Radio booth. As always, Dave Johnson will be handling the play-by-play, just as he's done since 1997. But for the first time in a long time, he'll finally have a color analyst to call his very own for the entire season, maybe even allowing him to actually take an occasional deep breath.

The new man on the Wizards airwaves will be Glenn Consor, a familiar face and voice to anyone who has paid much attention to the franchise over the last decade. He's worked as a postgame show analyst both on the old Home Team Sports telecasts as well as Comcast SportsNet, and his basketball credentials are generally impeccable.

Consor, now 49 and with two teenage sons who also play the game, is a self-described gym rat who still runs full court every Monday night with a bunch of "old dogs" who once played college and professional basketball. His mouth, he laughs, definitely works better than his knees.

A graduate of Bayside High School in Queens, he was Rick Pitino's first point guard when Pitino coached at Boston University in the late 1970s, and played professionally in Israel for a few years before joining the Wizards as a game and talent scout and finally a full-time broadcaster.

Consor said he's been lobbying Wizards General Manger Ernie Grunfeld for several years to do color on the radio. I'm also taking some responsibility for his addition to the crew. After all, your faithful sports broadcasting correspondent often has opined in print that "wouldn't it be nice if the Wizards gave Johnson a little help with a full-time analyst on the radio?"

The vast majority of NBA franchises now have two-man radio teams, and Grunfeld clearly did the right thing by adding the Wizards to that list. Isn't it so nice that the Wizards actually took my advice?

Johnson and Consor actually worked together on the radio during the playoffs last year, and both men said that not only did they enjoy the experience, they also more than occasionally produced that often-elusive so-called "chemistry" that separates the best broadcasting tandems from the worst.

"It's all about finding the right person," Johnson said. "His understanding of the game, of the organization and of this team is about as good as it gets. He knows what's going on. He can give you the how and the why as it's happening. It's one thing to look at a tape and then give your thoughts. It's quite another to do it as it's happening, and after working with him last year, I know he's really going to give us something extra."

In addition to working the playoffs last year, Consor has other past experience as a radio color analyst. He's worked for the Westwood One radio network the last seven years doing games during the NCAA men's basketball tournament, a gig he'll probably have to give up this year unless there are a few open dates on the Wizards' schedule during the tournament.

"Quite frankly, (the Wizards radio job) is something I've always wanted to do, something I've wanted to be part of," Consor said of his new role with the team. "I've been analyzing these games so long on television, this just seemed like a perfect fit for everyone. Dave has been doing play-by-play and he does it seamlessly. He also knows the game because he's had to do both jobs. On radio, you have to tell the whole story, and I think I can help him do that."

Consor will remain an employee of the Wizards, a troubling trend in all of professional sports when it comes to local broadasters and the teams they talk about. But he insisted that in no way will he pull any punches to protect his paycheck.

"My job is to tell the story and tell it like it is, and my reputation has always been that way," he said. "Yes, I'm still an employee of the organization, and I have to be respectful of that. I don't intend to attack anyone. That's never been my style. I'm an Xs and Os guy, but if I see something that's not right or needs to be pointed out, I have no problem doing that."

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